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Range Rover Sport Version 2.0

08.11.2013

It begins with a few timid whacks of the accelerator pedal as the revs climb up the counter… 3 000rpm, 4 000rpm, the manic exhaust note of the Goliath supercharged V8 rumbles louder and louder, echoing through the aeroplane hangar.

You see, we are at the launch of Land Rover’s newest Range Rover Sport. The location is an old hangar that’s been transformed into the Land Rover experience.

This all-new offering promises to not only be more responsive, faster and agile, but is also packed with features to ensure you can enjoy the car on- and off-road in the utmost comfort.

Dressed in a bold and assertive suit, the Range Rover Sport’s preppy but aggressive stance hints immediately towards luxurious desirability. It’s been reworked from top to bottom. This big SUV enjoys a weight saving of 420kg, which is the equivalent of leaving the family at home.

Based on its less sporty sibling’s platform, the Sport utilises 75% of Sport-specific parts to give it that unique look and feel, resulting in this finely crafted machine with its impeccable interior.

Saying it’s all about class is an understatement. With its buoyant personality and increasing aura courtesy of newly reworked styling, this car hardly gives off that girl-next-door demeanour. Instead it feels like the lynchpin of the SUV world, saying nothing other than ‘look at me, I have arrived!’

Thankfully it has the capabilities to back up the arrogance it seems to exude. It’s more than just a pavement-pouncing SUV for the malls. The new Range Rover Sport has been engineered to deliver a more connected drive through its enhanced refinement. Besides the fully independent aluminium suspension with wide-spaced double wishbones at the front, it also boasts an advanced multi-link layout at the rear. 

The air suspension, now into its fifth generation, provides up to 115mm of regular movement and varies between two ride heights, while the next-generation, groundbreaking Terrain Response 2 system automatically selects the most suitable terrain programme, which means off-roading is an option with this vehicle.

The designers and engineers clearly had creative unrest and refused to settle for the obvious when revolutionising the Range Rover Sport, because it doesn’t have specific strengths. It does everything fantastically. The tech packed into this vehicle makes it a robust off-roader as it adapts to its surroundings, although the low-profile tyres can take a beating on the dirt.

At the heart of the new Sport is a choice of three engines, the range topper being the wildly lunatic 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol motor that delivers 375kW of power.

There’s clearly no shortage of arresting power with its huge reserves of torque. It storms from standstill to 100km/h in 5.3 seconds and the thundering, bass-heavy soundtrack generated from the finely tuned exhaust system seems to acknowledge your desire for thrills.

The devil on the V8’s shoulder clearly shouts louder than the angel, as the manufacturer claims Co2 figures of 321g/km and a combined fuel consumption of 13.8 litres/100km.

The other petrol powertrain in the line-up is the new 3.0-litre supercharged V6 with 250kW of power and while it’s not as sporty as its fuel-guzzling sibling, it does do the 0-100km/h dash in 7.2 seconds and offers plenty of power for its big stature.

The oil-burner in the family is a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel. Benefitting from a 35kW power upgrade, this engine is now even more responsive with its 215kW on tap and 600Nm of torque. It can do the scuffle to 100km/h in 7.2 seconds, with a carbon-emissions rating of 209g/km and a claimed fuel-consumption figure of 7.9 litres/100km.

The all-new Range Rover Sport is energised, adventurous and fiercely desirable. Pricing starts at R824 500, with the flagship V8 HSE Dynamic at R1 263 600.

Article written by Stuart Moir
08.11.2013
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